Or, how to view Stratford in a new light.
I have visited this top tourist town many times over the last 30 years of living in Birmingham – which city dwellers haven’t!
But did I take time to appreciate the historic richness of its architecture?
I’ve almost always gone there for events and the tourist sites – concerts at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the River Festival, Stratford Canal, Butterfly Farm, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Mary Arden’s House, etc.
And who can not appreciate the joy of relaxing with many others in the Bancroft Gardens by the River Avon on a sunny day and a boat trip on the river? That can take up all your time on a day trip from Birmingham.
But in last week’s sunny weather I decided I would see if there were any other interesting things to view.
What about historic buildings?
So, camera in hand, I decided to stray from the main tourists streets to see if there were any gems of building history.
I wasn’t disappointed. Starting at the tourist hot spot, Shakespeare’s Birthplace in Henley Street, I pushed the boundaries of my wanderings.
I’m not saying these are the only historic sites but at least they are easily reachable and, what’s more, photographable due to the lack of other visitors taking selfies in front of them!
I recommend a short walk along my route below. I’m sure your spirit will be uplifted by the magnificent buildings – still having a purpose and in great condition – visually so much in contrast to the current, cladded cuboid towers being built in Birmingham centre.
I walked south-west from the birthplace along the tourists’ favourite Henley Street, at the roundabout in Bridge Street I turned south along High Street, Chapel Street and Church Street.
Then a brief encounter with Old Town [street] to the left then Chestnut Walk to the right.
At Evesham Place I turned right and headed north taking in Rother Street. At the end of this is the American Clock Tower in Market Square which I photographed with the historic backdrop of buildings in Wood Street with also a view of the Old Thatch Tavern to the left.
Article and photographs by Geoff Caine